Backhaus family says St. Baldrick’s events are a “break in the rain”

Backhaus family 2014

Laura Backhaus (standing) serves cake to the family. (clockwise around table): Dad Larin, Roman, Leighton, Liam and Rachel.

When Leighton Backhaus was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia three-and-a-half years ago, mom Laura says the family went into fight mode. Watch the video.

“My daughter Rachel was only seven months old at the time. I mean, we almost barely remember anything before that,” Laura says. “It’s like the world slows down and time stops and you’re frozen there for a minute. The only thing I could say in that moment was, ‘Is my son going to die?'”

As the battle raged on, Laura got a call from a family member with the news that her workplace was starting a team for St. Baldrick’s. They asked if their team’s honoree could be Leighton.

“As soon as I had registered an account for Leighton, we started to research St. Baldrick’s and we fell in love,” Laura says.

Fast forward to 2013, when Laura learned about St. Baldrick’s night at a Bismarck Bobcats game.

“You know, you feel like it’s a break in the rain. St. Baldrick’s gave us a break that night to just get away. We are looking forward to that again this year, taking the family to an event. Most people know that chemo and cancer treatment, it’s heavy on expenses. So to get a family of our size out to do something like that, it just doesn’t happen very often.”

The Backhaus family has a family member shaving his head and mustache this year. Uncle Arnie Kraft is on the MDU Resources – Bald as a Light Bulb team. Support him on his fundraising page.


  1. Lynnette Kraft says:

    The Uncle Arnie Kraft that is mentioned in the article is an ICI employee, an IBEW electrician that has been working at Leland Olds Station for over 10 years.

  2. basinelectric says:

    Thanks for the info, Lynnette! We’re happy to see Arnie is shaving… but now wish he was on the Basin Electric team. 🙂

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